Monday, July 21, 2014

Transitioning off Medifast soon!

I'm at 255 (+/- 1 lb) and while I did not hit my goal weight of 240 yet, we've decided to start the transition off of Medifast towards more 'real' foods. To that end, we've made a few purchases that should help things moving forward.

Now though, I'm going to talk a bit about meals and snacks and how things used to work, how they work now, and how they'll hopefully be working in the future.

Breakfast, before Medifast:
Skipped it many days, sometimes had a big bowl of sugary cereal (1.5 cups) with 2% milk. Lots of days I had a gas station hot dog or biscuit, or 2 McDonald's burritos or a sausage biscuit, or a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit. (0-600+ calories)

Breakfast, on Medifast:
A Medifast shake or 3/4 cup Medifast cereal and 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. (90-140 calories)

Breakfast plans now:
Kashi GoLean High Protein cereal or Fiber One Chocolate cereal and unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or egg whites with cheese and mushrooms, or a protein shake. (100-200 calories).

Biggest takeaway: Breakfast every day is critical to not over-snacking later, and almond milk is amazing.

Morning Snack, before Medifast:
Vendo-bot food, candy bars, potato chips, cookies, pop tarts. (200-500 calories)

Morning snack, on Medifast:
Medifast Crunch Bar, Almonds (85-110 calories)

Morning Snack plans now:
High protein meal replacement bars, Almonds (85-200 calories)

Biggest takeaway: Make sure you have reasonable healthy snacks at work. However, don't bring bags and boxes of them to work, since the work day is the place I'm most likely to graze. Bring exactly enough snacks for each day.

Lunch, before Medifast:
Fast food value meals, Subway, Qdoba Take Two menu, Indian buffet, Chinese buffet, deli soup and sandwiches, one large can of chunky soup. (400-2000 calories)

Lunch, on Medifast:
Macaroni and cheese, sometimes with extra cheese and chicken. (100-200 calories)

Lunch plans now:
Continuing to eat Medifast Mac and Cheese, but will look into frozen dinners, canned soups, and other options, as well as bringing leftovers for lunches. (100-500 calories)

Biggest takeaway: I simply can't go eat buffet/fast food 3-5 times a week at work. I need to make sure I bring a lunch every single day and have lunch outings at work limited to social events with friends a couple times a month.

Afternoon snacks, before Medifast:
Very rare, actually. This is likely due to the fact that most of my lunches were massive 1000-2000 calorie piles of sodium and fat. If I skipped lunch then this would be Vendo-bot, though. (0 calories or 250-500 calories)

Afternoon snacks, on Medifast:
One of a variety of crispy Medifast snacks (90-110 calories)

Afternoon snack plans now:
Protein bars, nuts, yogurt and granola, or some other reasonable snack. (100-300 calories)

Biggest takeaway: Afternoon snacks are critical to balancing out the day. Eating three small meals works much better than one large one, so I need to make sure I've got this covered with things brought from home so that I'm  not hitting the Vendo-bot for a candy bar and chips.

Dinner, before Medifast:
While I made many home cooked meals, and a lot of them were actually relatively healthy, portion sizes were a little out of control. Tons of rice, tons of pasta, breads, etc. However, many nights, especially right before Medifast meant lots of fast food. We were going out to eat 4-6 nights a week, with planned meals out after workout class two nights, and then the other nights were pizza, or Mexican, or a sit-down restaurant, or fast food. (800-2500 calories)

Dinner, on Medifast:
6-9 ounces of lean protein, 1.5 cups of mushrooms, sauces. (400-600 calories)

Dinner plans now:
4-8 ounces of lean protein, more vegetables, including adding back in grains, and reasonable bread/pasta and sauces. (500-1000 calories)

Biggest takeaway: Cook every night. Don't come to the dinner table starving because you ate crap all day at lunch. Have a stocked pantry and refrigerator, and get fresh meats and veggies regularly. Going out to eat should be a special treat and not the default. When you do go out to eat, have reasonable servings.

Post-Dinner snack, before Medifast:
Chocolate chip cookies, cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, Sonic Blasts, McFlurries, frozen yogurt, frozen custard concretes with mix-ins. (200-800 calories)

Post Dinner snack, on Medifast:
Medifast smoothie with a soft-bake mix, cream cheese, and PB2 (120-150 calories)

Post-dinner snack plans now:
More Medifast smoothies, and possibly coming up with other smoothie recipes using protein powders, real peanut butter, and other ingredients. (120-250 calories)

Biggest takeaway: While I really do want something dessert-like every night, I need to make sure that the high-calorie choices are very rare treats and not daily occurrences. This is where we are most likely to keep buying Medifast products for the foreseeable future, as well.

Before Medifast, I was consuming anywhere from 1600-6000 or so calories a day, and gaining weight when I wasn't tracking. I doubt I had many 6,000 calorie days, but I am sure I had more 4,000 calorie days than I would have ever expected.

Now, though, I want to take my average Medifast day (1100-1300 calories) and transition into a more reasonable 2000-2500 calorie diet. I'm not planning on jumping directly up to 2500, obviously, but this is the overall goal, to get myself to a place where my normal day is at a calorie level that should make it easy to lose about 1 lb a week if I exercise, and maintain if I don't.

To do this, I just need to keep weighing, keep tracking, and keep bringing food to work and cooking at home. I got my kickstart. Now it's time to lock it in.

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